Chai Latte Tea Concentrate

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I love tea.

Part of the reason tea charms me so is the power it possesses to transport me to another place or time.  Whatever the stress, boredom or weariness is that hangs over me, it falls away in the time-honoured ritual of brewing and sipping a cup of tea.  In the best circumstances this is an unhurried process.  Measure the tea into the strainer. Wait for the water to boil with a book in hand.  Gently pour the boiling water over the tea leaves and be amazed -for the millionth time- at the miraculous alchemy that turns humble water and leaves into ambrosia.

But even when conditions aren’t optimal for a quiet, contemplative tea brewing experience  -as happens more often than not in a home with five young sons- tea retains the ability to alter my mood for the better with its mere presence.  Having a cup of tea at hand is my insulation from what the world throws at me.

It is no exaggeration to say that the post-holiday level of noise and chaos around these parts has been, in a word, extreme. With the kids reluctantly returning to studies, the weather being consistently frightful, and the gentle glow of the festive start to the new year ebbing away, tea moves from the realm of luxury to necessity. Although the available time to tarry over crafting the perfect cuppa has dwindled my desire for drinking it has not. The solution is tea concentrate.

Get it?

Tea?

Solution?

Please forgive me.

Tea concentrate makes it possible for me to turn out a Chai Latte capped with whipped cream and dusted with fragrant cinnamon in less than two minutes.  My Chai Lattes rival the green about the gills mermaid’s at a fraction of her waterway robbery prices.

While I’m normally a loose-leaf tea girl, bagged Chai tea is one of my diversions.  If you don’t already have a brand that you prefer, I like Stash and Bigelow chai blends.  Use whichever brand you prefer.  If you prefer, you can use rice milk, soy milk, or almond milk in place of dairy milk both in the brewed tea and the prepared latte.

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With a cup of Chai Latte in hand I can laugh while staring into the whites of our inevitable winter’s eyes.  I can tune out the sound of the boys wrestling two feet behind me.  I can tackle that pile of laundry in the basement.  Well, maybe I should have another Chai Latte before I try that laundry part…

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For a photo-free, printer friendly version of this recipe, click here!

Chai Latte Concentrate

Ingredients:

  • 12 Chai tea bags
  • 4 cups cold, fresh water
  • 1 1/2 cups milk

Place the tea bags, cold water and milk in a medium saucepan over high heat.  Bring to a boil.  When you reach the boil, drop the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and squeeze the tea bags to extract as much flavor and liquid as possible.  Discard tea bags and transfer the Chai Latte Concentrate to a heat-safe container.  Allow to cool to room temperature, put a tight fitting lid on the container and store in the refrigerator for up to 12 days.

To prepare a Chai Latte:

When making the Chai Latte you have ultimate control over flavors, sweetness and creaminess.  If you like a richer latte, use chocolate syrup as your sweetener and substitute half and half for your milk.  If you’re watching your calories, use low-fat milk and stevia.  My own personal preference dictates a latte lightly sweetened with half agave and half sugar and made creamy with whole milk.  But see? This is another advantage of making it at home.  You can be as high or low maintenance as you want and no barista will give you the stink eye.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3- 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2- 2/3 cup of Chai Latte Concentrate
  • 1-3 teaspoons, to taste, of sweetener.  I use a combination of agave nectar and raw sugar

Optional for serving:

  • Whipped cream
  • Cocoa powder
  • Ground cinnamon

Truthfully, doesn’t this just make you happy to see such a large container of heavy cream?  My soul cries with joy.

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Pour milk and concentrate into a saucepan or a microwave safe measuring cup.

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Heat just until steaming.  Pour into your serving glass and sweeten to taste.

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Top as desired.  I give mine a tall cap of whipped cream…

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…and a dusting of cinnamon.

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Sip. Relax.  Repeat.

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Comments

  1. says

    I’m not a coffee or tea drinker. I actually have to be force fed tea (with lemon and a mountain of sugar) when I’m sick. BUT I do have a weakness for a Chai Latte, with a touch of vanilla. Mmmm. One of our local shops makes it pretty good, but I’m guessing yours is WAY better.

    • Rebecca says

      Jean- I sure hope you had something hot to drink with all that snow! There’s nothing quite like looking out from the inside with a hot cuppa when it’s like that, is there?

      Amy- You flattering flatterer. (But you’re right. I think mine is pretty darned delicious.) Try it. Try it now. You won’t regret it. Well, you might if you make every one of them full fat and sweeten them with loads of sugar and chocolate….

  2. Traci says

    I believe I will now be the coolest mom on the planet. *G* My teen daughters adore Chai lattes with soy, thankyouverymuch. I’m going to whip up a batch today and hopefully I’ll be cool for a few hours at least. :) Thanks for this! I enjoy your writing and recipies immensely. Keep up the awesome work!

  3. says

    Back when I was healthy, I used to drink tea almost every day. And it was just for that reason, that it brought me a sense of serenity. Sitting here sober on a Saturday night, I would love to have a cup right now. :) <— Sorry, I spontaneously emoticoned. I really should start buying it again.

  4. Lupo says

    I just had to stop in and say THANK YOU. Repeatedly. I love chai, and the boxes of concentrate mix are so expensive, especially on a college student budget. This entire week I’ve been a happy gal in the mornings because I have been able to make my own chai lattes, healthier and less costly than a local coffeehouse. It almost, almost makes up for the fact that I have to be up so early every day. I was intrigued by your site, and am glad I clicked the link while searching for chai. I have been browsing through your blog and bookmarking other ideas to try. Thank you so much again.

  5. Wendy says

    Mine is on the stove cooking as we speak. I’m making it for our annual New Year’s Day brunch, and can’t wait to try it! Thank you so much!

  6. Deidra says

    Can I add my agave syrup directly to my concentrate to eliminate one more step when making the latte, or will it spoil sooner???

  7. Deana says

    Chai latte tea is really great during this summer. I always dot hat when I feel drain and sleepy. It helps me awake in the middle of noon.

  8. Kelsey says

    Thank you SO much for posting this! I am in LOVE with Chai lattes, but I rarely buy them as I’m on a tight budget. My Daughter is 9 and she loves them too. We both thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU!!!

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